It’s no secret that some of the best ideas and inventions are cooked up right in sunny Colorado. In this series, we’ll be exploring the latest products coming from the state's makers, builders and innovators.
Two years ago the folks at Boulder-based Sidfactor – a product-design and strategy firm specializing in outdoor apparel – decided they wanted to try manufacturing in America. Led by company founders Jason Olden and Eric Lyon, Sidfactor’s eight-person staff redesigned and resized a backyard lawn game popularized in the Midwest. for their first attempt. “Most of our stuff wasn’t made in America, and we came up with this to test the process,” explains digital creative Brennah Rosenthal. “We picked a cornhole board because it’s something people enjoy.”
Traditional cornhole board aren’t much to look at. Sidfactor wanted to change that. Running with the “art for play idea,” the design firm “wanted to make something that looks good in your house,” Rosenthal explains.
The result is Modern Cornhole, a smaller, sleeker and more modern game. This “scaled-down version of a cornhole board,” as Rosenthal puts it, will be sold through Sidfactor’s in-house brand, Red, Wood & Blue. Boards are constructed with American plywood in the same Michigan factory where Herman Miller’s iconic Eames chair is produced.
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“There’s a tool belt that was specifically made to mold this cornhole into one piece,” Rosenthal says. “The legs have eight pieces of plywood, the deck has six pieces, and they’re all molded together without any screws." The manufacturing process is shown in the video below.
Red, Wood & Blue produced a few sample boards earlier this year; now that Modern Cornhole has been funded through a Kickstarter campaign, the company is gearing up for a full production run. Rosenthal projects that the product will be available for sale in early 2016. While most sales will be made online — you can preorder Modern Cornhole on Red, Wood & Blue’s website — a few stores in Boulder, like madelife, will stock Modern Cornhole.
And right now you can test the product for free at Sanitas Brewing Company, where Modern Cornhole is almost as popular as the beer.